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Today, we are announcing our migration to our own domain, TechnoTrekk.com. We have been working hard on getting the all of our previous posts and comments to this new domain! So, we urge all of you to visit us there and follow us once again so that you can get updated on all the latest news about the happenings in the world of technology!

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Top 5 Tech Gifts Under ₹5,000 (2014)

‘Tis the season as Google tells us through its doodles and I would like to help you guys make last-minute gift purchases for that geeky friend/ relative, this festive season.

This is a list of tech gifts that I’m sure that geeky friend of yours would like while you are on a budget of ₹5,000 only.

5. A 1TB External Hard Disk

Anyone who owns a computer with an SSD will have at most a 256GB internal storage. These people will appreciate an external storage solution. These days you can pick up a 1 TB external hard disk from any online portal for under ₹5000. Two of the top contenders are Seagate’s Backup Plus Slim 1 TB hard disk and competitor Western Digital’s My Passport Ultra 1TB hard disk. I have seen and used products by both of these firms and can say that their products are worth the money. You can grab both of these products from Amazon at a great discounted prices — the Backup Plus can be had for ₹4247 while the My Passport  Ultra is available for ₹4271. Since, the price difference is barely a hundred bucks I say go for the thinner and more portable Seagate Backup Plus Slim.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.23.30 pm           Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.23.41 pm

 

4. ASUS Zenfone 4 A400CXG

ASUS Zenfone 4 is a great smartphone and is currently available for just ₹ 5000. The phone runs on Android 4.3 (upgradeable to 4.4), is powered by a dual core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 processor. It also features a 5MP rear camera, a 0.3MP secondary camera in the front, 1GB of RAM and a 1600 mAh battery. The phone also sports a 4-inch WVGA display with a decent display resolution of 233 pixels per inch. It has 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded via microSd card. You can gift this smartphone to your mom or dad or pretty much anyone you know who is looking to move up from a feature phone to a smartphone. It is perfect for someone who is looking for a cheap Dual SIM smartphone! It can be grabbed from Flipkart for just under ₹5000 though I would recommend paying another hundred bucks and getting your loved ones the Gorilla Glass version.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.02.56 pm          Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.03.57 pm

 

 

3. Over-the-head Audio Technica Headphones

For just under ₹5000 you can get a nice set of headphones from Audio Technica, JBL and a host of other audio giants, this festive season. Among these all of these brands, I’d recommend getting the Audio Technica  ATH PRO5MK2CM and the ATH-AD500X. While both of these headphones cost above ₹5000, you can grab both of them for just aback under at Flipkart.com. They are both very comfortable and provide a little bit of too much bass but that can be forgotten given the price at which you are getting these awesome pair of headphones. All-in-all your music-loving friends/relatives won’t hate you for getting them anyone of these sets.

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2. A fitness band

For just ₹3500, you can get a lesser version of the Misfit Shine, called the Misfit Flash and Sleep monitor fitness band. This band features a plain dial with red dot LEDs at the edge of the face. It can help your fitness freak of a friend to get up and follow his daily step goal to fitness and also help him/her monitor their sleep. Check it out at Flipkart.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.20.01 pm

 

1. Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast is a USB device which connects directly into your ordinary TV and allows it to connect with all of your WiFi-enabled devices as well as the internet. You can use any Android 4.3+ phone, iOS device, Mac or Windows computer to control your television and even mirror your device’s display onto the TV. You can also use it as a photo frame  when not using it view other media. At just a buck under ₹3000, the Chromecast is a great gift for your loved ones! Since, it is officially only available at Snapdeal.com, I recommend you get it from there as there are other offers also applicable on it. You get 20GB of extra data every month from Airtel every month for 3 months and 2 months of free usage of EROS Now Premium to stream movies and audio produced under the production label.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.22.11 pm

 

That’s it for the Under ₹5000 list of tech gifts. I will be posting other lists for under ₹1000, ₹10000, ₹25000 and ₹50000 soon. Till then, Happy Holidays people!

Flipkart raises another $700 mn, applies to go public in Singapore

Flipkart has raised another $700 million (Rs 4,300 crore), less than six months after the country’s largest e-tailer surprised everyone with the largest fund-raising by an Indian online retailer so far, $1 billion, reflecting the investor confidence in the fiercely competitive e-commerce space. Significantly, this latest round of rasing funds — which the company closed on Saturday and saw participation from five new global investors — also underlines e-commerce companies’ desire to seek funds to keep up with their discount-led pricing model.

“As with previous funds raised, these funds will be used towards long-term strategic investments in India and to build a world-class technology company, delivering superior customer experiences,” the firm said in a statement.

In this latest round of investment, the company saw participation from new investors, including Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital and Qatar Investment Authority, along with existing investors such as DST Global, ICONIQ Capital and Tiger Global, bringing the total number of investors above 50. This year, Flipkart has raised a total of $1.9 billion and close to $2.7 billion since it was founded by  Sachin Bansal and  Binny Bansal in 2007.

“Flipkart Limited (incorporated at Singapore) has filed with ACRA Singapore for conversion to a Public Company. This is a mandatory procedure for all companies where the number of shareholders exceeds 50,” Flipkart said in a statement.

The company also stated that the filing is “in no way indicative of any upcoming IPO or of any corporate activity that the company is engaged in either in Singapore or any other part of the world.”

Flipkart is now valued at about $11 billion (Rs 69,000 crore), more than some of the country’s largest consumer companies. Flipkart is now worth nearly half of India’s fourth-largest IT firm Wipro, which has a market capitalisation of Rs 1.34 lakh crore, and nearly seven times the mid-sized IT services firm Mind-Tree that is valued at around Rs 10,000 crores.

Micromax launches first Cyanogen OS 11 featuring smartphone — Yureka

Micromax, yesterday, launched the Yureka smartphone under the new YU Televentures brand. This smartphone comes after Micromax announced a deal with Cyanogen, giving it the exclusive rights to sell smartphones with the Cyanogen OS 11. The phone is the first under the new Yu series of smartphones which are covered under the above collaboration.

The phone will be sold exclusively on Amazon India for ₹8,999 (US$143) in flash sales. Seems like Micromax is looking to building hype about its new smartphone just like Xiaomi.

The Yureka sports a 5.5-inch, 1280×720 resolution IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC with 1.5GHz octa-core CPU and Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB RAM. It has a 32GB internal memory with microSD card slot. The phone features a 13 megapixel Sony IMX135 rear camera with 24fps burst mode and f2.2 aperture and 5 megapixel front camera, 4G LTE connectivity, dual SIM support, 2,500mAh battery and runs on Cyanogen OS 11.

The main reason for the controversy involving OnePlus One and the Delhi High Court order preventing OnePlus from selling phones in India with Cyanogen OS.

As can be seen above, the features and specifications of the Yureka seem quite impressive for the price. We will have to wait and see how the phone performs in real life.

Registrations for the first flash sale, which will happen in the second week of January, begin at 2PM today, only at Amazon.in.

Xiaomi to resume sales in India till January 8, 2015

Xiaomi has obtained a partial lift off the injunction banning it from selling all of its smartphones in India, after the Delhi High court decided that its Qualcomm-powered devices should not be affected by the ban.

Justice G.P. Mittal, of the Delhi High Court, had imposed a total ban on imports and sales of Xiaomi devices in India last week, at the request of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. Ericsson alleged that Xiaomi is refusing to pay licenses for eight of its patents, pertaining to AMR, EDGE, and 3G technologies. Xiaomi was banned from selling any of its own devices until the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for January 8, 2015.

Continue reading Xiaomi to resume sales in India till January 8, 2015

Motorola expects global profits with its 4G smartphone plans for demand-driven India: Rick Osterloh

Motorola Mobility is planning to bring affordable  4G smartphones to India in 2015, one of its priority markets along with Brazil, which according to the world’s third-largest smartphone maker will be critical for its global charge to become market leader.

After being acquired by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd., the US-based smartphone maker aims to lead their global smartphone business while trying to rise to position 3 from position 4 in India due to the strong demand, said Rick Osterloh, president and COO at Motorola Mobility, to the Economic Times in an interview.

“The transition to 4G (in India) will come quickly,” Osterloh said. “Next year, we are going to be very aggressive in the 4G value proposition for end user.”

Continue reading Motorola expects global profits with its 4G smartphone plans for demand-driven India: Rick Osterloh

Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra writes an Open Apology Letter to their Indian fans

After the recent order passed by the Delhi High Court, banning sales and/or import of Xiaomi devices it found to be infringing on Ericsson’s patents.

“Our sincere apologies to all Indian Mi fans! Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation,”

                                                         –Hugo Barra,VP, Global Sales, Xiaomi

The smartphone manufacturer has responded to the ban with an open letter issued by its VP Hugo Barra, apologising to their Indian customers.

In the letter, Barra has acknowledged the ban and says that the company is evaluating its legal options.

Even the company’s Indian website (mi.com/in) is displaying the letter (below) with a link to their Facebook page.

mi india

What’s interesting is that the links to specific phone models (like the RedMi 1S) open up just fine.

Check out the full contents of the Letter after the break…  Continue reading Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra writes an Open Apology Letter to their Indian fans

Google to shut down its Google News service in Spain

Google is set to shut down its Google News service in Spain on 16th December.

The move comes as a response to a new intellectual property law set to be introduced in the country. According to the law, Google News and other news aggregating services will have to pay the Spanish publishers for showing their content or part(s) thereof.

The head of Google News, Richard Gingras, explained the decision in a blog post earlier today, which reads in part:

Sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.

The Spanish law, nicknamed the “Google Tax”, did not specify how much the tech giant would have to pay publisher but it did allow for a hefty fine of more than $750,000 if found violated.

These Spanish “Google Tax” efforts come shortly after the proceedings in Germany, in 2013. Germany passed legislation last year that allows publishers to charge search engines and aggregators for using any content beyond headlines, but Google asked publishers to opt-in without requiring the fee, which some did. After a two-week experiment, German news giant Axel Springer dismissed a plan last month to restrict Google access to some of its content when its sites’ traffic decreased considerably, according to Reuters.

Delhi High Court bans sales/import Xiaomi devices in India

The world’s fastest growing mobile brand Xiaomi, which made an impressive entry into India with its Mi3 handset in July this year, has now been barred from importing and/or selling its devices in India over an alleged patent infringement, for the time being.

Ask anyone if they have seen the same design language as Xiaomi devices before, and the response will be a unanimous yes. Ask them where and you will hear one name — Apple. The Cupertino giant has every reason to sue the Chinese smartphone-maker but it isn’t them. Not this time.

According to the PTI wire, the Delhi High Court has passed an interim injunction banning the sales and import of all Xiaomi devices running on technology patented by Swedish equipment maker Ericsson, in India. The court order is directed toward Xiaomi India ( or Mi India ) as well as its exclusive online retail partner Flipkart.

I am satisfied that plaintiff (Ericsson) has made out a prima facie case for grant of ad interim injunction in its favour.

— Justice G.P. Mittal, Delhi High Court

The court has also notified both of them to submit affidavits declaring the number of devices sold by them and the revenues earned thereof.

In the patent case against Xiaomi, Ericsson India had submitted to the Delhi court that the Chinese device marker had been violating eight of its patents pertaining to 3G, EDGE and other technologies.

The Court’s order poses to be a setback for Xiaomi which has already sold over half a million smartphones in India. Its weekly flash sales of limited number of handsets, one model at a time, had upped its brand status. But the company also drew criticism for hyping the product by controlling supply. In this week’s flash sale, Xiaomi said 75,000 Redmi Note devices had been sold out in 8 seconds.

Ericsson has said that it had invited Xiaomi to use its patented technology by obtaining a licence, but instead of doing so, the Chinese manufacturer launched its devices in India in July 2014. Reportedly, Xiaomi is readying to open discussions with Ericsson to ‘resolve this matter amicably’.

Reports quoted a Xiaomi spokesperson as saying the phone maker is readying to open discussions with Ericsson to ‘resolve this matter amicably’.

 

Guess what Nokia is up to next?

The question everyone is looking an answer to after the acquisition of its smartphone arm by Microsoft.

Yesterday, Nokia teased a mysterious black box with the company’s logo on its Twitter feed. According to this cryptic tweet (below), Sebastian Nystrom, Head of Product Business, Nokia, will answer the question at the Slush 14 conference in Finland today.

Since a brand spanking new smartphone is out of the question, the new product could be anything… Though it seems to be a streaming box or maybe even a tiny PC?

What do you think will be unveiled by Nokia today? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know!